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Honorees 2017

Javier Munoz
Javier Muñoz: Ilka Award

Javier Muñoz is an American actor and singer. His love of theater began in high school during a production of The King and I in Brooklyn, NY. His passion only grew throughout his time at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and his work with AmeriCorps where he taught theater in community programs and schools throughout NYC. In 2005 Muñoz auditioned for Lin-Manuel Miranda for the role of his understudy in Tony-winning hit In the Heights, later assuming the lead role. Currently playing the title role in Broadway’s insanely successful show, Hamilton, Muñoz has also taken the role of HIV advocate. Muñoz has been living with HIV since 2002. He is very open and takes pride in being undetectable, healthy and strong, encouraging others to work towards the same goal and reduce the stigma around HIV.

Mary T. Bassett
Mary T. Bassett, MD, MPH: Fuerza Award

Mary T. Bassett, MD, MPH was appointed Commissioner of Health of New York City in January 2014. Her focus is on ensuring that every New York City neighborhood supports the health of its residents, with the goal of closing gaps in population health across the diverse city. Originally from New York City, Dr. Bassett lived for nearly 20 years in Zimbabwe. Previously, she was a Program Director for the African Health Initiative and the Child Well-being Program at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. She completed her medical residency at Harlem Hospital Center, her medical degree at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Washington, and her bachelor’s degree at Harvard University.

Macy's: Business Leadership Award

Macy's, the largest retail brand of Macy's, Inc., delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers nationwide and internationally. Giving back is a core value at Macy’s Inc. Building on a more than 150-year tradition, and with the collective support of customers and employees, Macy's helps strengthen communities by supporting local and national charities giving more than $69 million each year to help make a difference in the lives of our customers. Macy’s is proud of its track record as a caring and responsible corporate citizen. Macy’s reaches out to communities to develop solid, meaningful relationships. Through their charitable contributions, employment initiatives, active volunteerism and creation of unique economic relationships, Macy’s helps produce stronger and healthier communities for their customers and employees.

Miss Universe 2017 Iris Mittenaere
Miss universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere : Madrina

On January 29, Iris Mittenaere became the 65th Miss Universe and only the second woman from France to hold the title, bringing the crown home 64 years after her predecessor.
The youngest of three children, Iris was encouraged by her mother, a former teacher, to prioritize education.  Iris was one of only 90 students accepted into her university’s dental program, and today the 24-year-old med student is in her fifth year of a dental surgery fellowship, where she is studying to become an oral surgeon.  Iris is committed to raising awareness of the health issues that neglecting dental care can lead to, including respiratory infections and cardiovascular disease.  

As Miss Universe France, Iris dedicated her time to visiting children at Bienvenue-Tongasoa, an orphanage that she will continue supporting throughout her Miss Universe reign. Iris is also working with Smile Train, a global organization that provides cleft repair surgeries for children in underdeveloped countries. The surgeries can take as little as 45 minutes and the impact is life-changing.  .